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Early Childhood Direction Center in Manhattan

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About the ECDC

The Early Childhood Direction Center (ECDC) in Manhattan provides free, confidential and neutral information and referral services to families and professionals working with young children diagnosed or suspected to have special needs. Children referred to the ECDC must reside in Manhattan and be between birth and five years of age.

The ECDC in Manhattan is one of 14 ECDCs in New York State and is funded by the New York State Education Department. We are locally sponsored by NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and located there as well. This website is made possible by a grant from the Far Fund.

Our Staff

Staff members at the ECDC are available to provide assistance Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be reached at (212) 746-6175. We are unique in that we conduct mainly telephone sessions with families and pride ourselves on returning all calls within 1 to 2 business days. In addition, our staff members initiate follow-up telephone contact with families to ensure that children are receiving the appropriate services until they are five years of age. Our staff is available to assist families with the transition between service systems. All information is available in English and Spanish.

Our Goals

The ECDC's goal is to support families and assist professionals working with young children with diagnosed or suspected special needs. We help match the needs of children with services available in New York City. We conduct follow up phone sessions with families and coordinate services between agencies and systems. Each year, we speak with thousands of families and professionals.

In Detail

Specifically, we offer families and professionals the following:

  • Linking children and families to available services and programs in New York City
  • Referrals to agencies and professionals providing services to young children with special needs and their families
  • Referrals of infants and toddlers to the New York City Early Intervention Program (EI)
  • Assistance with referrals of children to the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE)
  • Follow up telephone contact with families until their child reaches age five
  • Workshops and resources for families
  • Workshops and resources for professionals

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